First lecture of the course "The Contemporary Era" by Antioch College Professor John Ronsheim. This course traces the history of 20th Century music until about 1970. This lecture includes: Brief history of music from c. 1000-1859. Works by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Liszt and Wagner exhibiting the breakdown of the tonal system. Analysis of Mozart K. 465, Adagio (Introduction). For more information visit ronsheim.org.
These very rambling lectures are worth picking through to find occasional gems if you can stand the extreme ignorance of and prejudice against both popular Western music and mainstream (non-academic or modernist) art music composition of last century). Strangely for 1988 he barely even mentions minimalism, let alone lesser known currents of that era. Still worth plowing through the acres of material for some good insights on Webern, Dallapiccola and other music which is, however, looking increasingly marginal as the 20th century retreats.
May 6, 2008 Subject:
good, loud class
I am excited about these lectures and plan to listen to this series in its entirety. That being said, please note that Ronsheim has a tendency to alternate between a nice, modulated low voice and a grating, toneless, very LOUD shouting voice. I'm sure that no one -ever- fell asleep in this class, and not just because the content was interesting (which it is).
April 24, 2006 Subject:
A truly great class
This is something pretty rare and extraordinary: a totally inspired and totally uncompromisedfrom an aesthetic and existential point of viewsurvey of modern European music taught by someone who clearly knows this subject inside out and backwardsnot ONLY because, as becomes apparent, he knew personally, sometimes intimately, many of the composers whose works he discussese.g. Dallapiccola, Messiaen, Boulez, Nonohaving in fact lived, as one discovers, in Italy after the war, attending the Darmstadt summer schools, etc.but ALSO because, as is clear from the very beginning, he LOVES music. Whats more, Prof. Ronsheim has a flair for teaching, to say the least. He is passionate as all get out, genuinely obsessed with the future of art and humanity, and his teaching, obviously drawing from an enormous reservoir of integrated experiences, is vital, inspiring, and serious in way thats seldom encountered these days. At college I had teachers who were dull careerists, others just plain dull; some who were very smart, certainly knowledgeable, in every way competent, yet merely academic; only one or two who were perhaps admirable, possibly unusualbut, boy, this here is the real thing!